Skip to content

Lean Certification

Silver Level

Integrate your lean knowledge with leadership experience.

Lean Silver Certification represents your career progression in knowledge and responsibility as you become a senior employee and team leader. At this level, mentoring/coaching is required which confirms your ability to lead and mentor a team in the preparation, design, and execution of value stream transformations.

Are you a candidate for Lean Silver?

Read about the experience and background of candidates who are qualified for Lean Silver Certification.

Steve Leanna Jeff

Customer profile- Steve

Steve is a senior manager of Lean/Continuous Improvement at his company’s largest manufacturing plant.  Steve has been working in operational excellence for the last ten years supporting multiple value streams.  Most of his project’s cross departmental boundaries and leverage value stream thinking.  Steve would be a great candidate for Lean Silver certification.

Lean Silver Certificate Candidate - Leanna

Leanna is a regional manager for Lean/Continuous Improvement for a large hospital group. Leanna has led several Lean Kaizen events to include value stream mapping, 5S, and set up reduction.  Leanna is working to further her Lean journey as she prepares for higher levels of leadership. Leanna would be a great candidate for Lean Silver certification.

Lean Silver Certificate Candidate - Jeff

Jeff is the manager of Manufacturing Engineering & Operational Excellence. His team manages manufacturing process, plant, layout & design, process improvement, and operational excellence.  Jeff has facilitated and sponsored several cross-functional kaizen events at his site. Jeff would like to formalize his Lean/Continuous Improvement learning.  Jeff would be a great candidate for Lean Silver certification.


Certification Pricing

The fees below include the exam and accomplishment record fee.

Nonmember $699
SME Member and Partners (AME, Shingo Institute) $539
  Apply Now


Nonmember $729
SME Member and Partners (AME, Shingo Institute) $569
  Apply Now


Process to Earn Your Certification

1: Assess your knowledge and experience
The Lean Body of Knowledge (BOK) is an outline of lean topics covered on the certification exam.

The Lean Silver Essential Body of Work describes the baseline knowledge, skills, and abilities required by lean professionals and lays the groundwork for understanding and evaluating the Lean Bronze Certification requirements. It will help you better envision your role and evaluate your readiness for certification.

The Lean Silver Blueprint provides additional information beyond the Lean Certification Body of Knowledge by going a step further and specifying relevant segments of the Body of Knowledge and providing additional details on the proficiency expected for Lean Bronze Certification.

The Lean Competency and Behavior Model is intended to help identify the minimum competencies and behavior expectations in your pursuit of a specific level of Lean Certification.

2: Read the Core Reference Material
Exam questions are based on specific Core Reference Material selected by knowledgeable and experienced individuals. You can save 10% by purchasing the Lean Silver Certification book package, which includes:

Real Numbers: Management Accounting in a Lean Organization, The Lean Design Guidebook, and Office Kaizen: Transforming Office Operations into a Strategic Competitive Advantage are also recommended reading titles and can be purchased at

3: Apply for the exam, schedule and take the exam

Apply Here

The Lean Silver Certification exam is offered in online and paper/pencil formats. You have six months to take the exam from the date you apply.

To apply for Lean Silver Certification, candidates should have two or more years of professional experience that includes leading improvement teams; successfully applying lean thinking, processes, and techniques to value stream improvements; and nurturing lean behaviors in others.

The Lean Silver Certification exam is a three hour, open book and open notes exam. It consists of approximately 150 multiple-choice questions mapped to the Body of Knowledge. Exam questions are taken from the Core Reference Materials.

You must submit your Proctor Form and Agreement to SME at least two weeks before your scheduled exam date.

To pass the exam, you need to score 75% or higher. After your exam is scored, you will receive official results by mail, which includes an Examination Analysis Report that provides a breakdown of your results by knowledge area.


4: Mentoring

Look to find a mentor within your own company, through the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) leaders in your area, or, if you are an SME member, your local chapter may be a good resource.


5: Submit your Lean Silver Certification Accomplishment Record

After passing your exam, to receive your Lean Silver Certification you must complete an Accomplishment Record. The Accomplishment Record examines how candidates have applied their lean knowledge and skills to actual real-world situations.

Your Lean Silver Certification Accomplishment Record will ask you to provide a narrative of your accomplishments for each competency needed by a Lean Silver Certification candidate. You will emphasize the quality of your accomplishments and the results you achieved rather than the jobs you have held or the tasks you have completed.

In addition to completing your Accomplishment Record, you will need:

  • 160 hours of education and training requirements. If you have previously obtained the Lean Bronze Certification, you can apply the education and training hours you earned toward this requirement.
  • Mentoring and/or Coaching activities.


6: Plan your next step

Upon passing your Accomplishment Record you will earn your Lean Silver Certification (LSC). During this time you may choose to pursue recertification or another certification rank. Your Lean Silver Certification is valid for three years.


Have questions or need additional information?

Certification FAQs
Online Inquiry Form

Become an SME Member

We want to help you succeed in all areas of manufacturing. Join today to learn. engage. advance. with SME.


SME Connect

Engage virtually with industry peers through SME Connect


Manufacturing Engineering magazine

Receive a guaranteed subscription to Manufacturing Engineering magazine


Local Chapters

Build relationships in your local community



Get substantial discounts on certification study materials and exams


Learn more about SME Membership

Join Now to Learn, Engage and Advance with SME!